By Noel "Bravo" Francis, Special to TrackAlerts.com
Despite having the world record holder in the high jump in Cuba’s Javier Sotomayor, the Caribbean has enjoyed little success in this event on the world stage in recent times. A proud moment came when Bahamian Donald Thomas won the high jump at the 2007 World Championships in a personal best 2.35m. In today’s CARIFTA feature, we look at three of the Caribbean’s most talented juniors in this event.
Jamaica’s Christoffe Bryan the 2013 World Youth Championships bronze medallist, is the top high jumper in the region. He won the CARIFTA title last year despite jumping way below his best with a height of 2.14m. This season has been an up and down one for Bryan, however, when he is in the mood he delivers breathtaking performances.
At the recent Boys & Girls Championships, Bryan soared to a new ‘Champs’ record and personal best of 2.23m. The previous record set by Bryan himself last year stood at 2.19m. It is my view that Bryan could have cleared the new height of 2.26m that he attempted soon after had he not lost momentum and rhythm when he had to sit down and wait over ten minutes for the introduction and running of the 8x50m principals relay.
If Bryan reports in the right condition and frame of mind at CARIFTA, he should clear the Under-20 record height of 2.21m and probably make another attempt at 2.26m. His teammate Clayton Brown who was second at the trials should battle Bahamian Laquan Nairn for the silver medal.
Nairn the silver medallist from last year is a quality jumper and usually reports in good condition at these championships. Interestingly, Nairn placed fifth at the 2013 IAAF World Youth Championships with a personal best clearance of 2.16m. This could be one of the highlight events of the games. With the World Junior Championships coming up in July, this could be a preview of a few of the finalists and their capabilities.
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